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submitted 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago) by [email protected] to c/fediverse

Whoever is in charge of that instance, STOP.

It's an instance that crossposts posts from Reddit, except it also makes a new user for each Reddit account it came from. So if /u/hello123 made a post, it makes that post under a new account called hello123. That makes it impossible to block posting bots.

Not only that, it makes posts look like they're posted by real people, with many question and text posts being copied as well. I was very confused as to what these posts were until I realized they're crossposts.

Examples:

https://alien.top/post/263029

https://lemm.ee/u/[email protected]

https://lemm.ee/u/[email protected]

https://lemm.ee/u/[email protected]

I strongly believe Lemmy isn't the place for mirroring content from other websites. You can host your own alternate Reddit frontend like LibReddit, there's no reason to spam the posts to everyone using Lemmy just because 5 people asked for it. Not to mention there are already enough instances mirroring posts, this is getting obnoxious.

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[-] [email protected] 199 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

I personally hate all the reddit cross post stuff, and it seems like the majority of lemmy users do too. I don't understand why people obsess over this as a way to "grow" lemmy.

It doesn't contribute to active conversations, in fact it deters users who reply locally and then never get a response.

Just let lemmy grow organically by making good content and contributing, stop forcing it with mirrors from reddit.

I wonder if we could get the top admins to threaten defederation with any instance that doesn't flag automated posts as bots. This way at least the users have some visibility.

[-] [email protected] 41 points 5 months ago

It isn't about "growing" lemmy. It is about "growing" internet points and communities. People see an opportunity to become the mods they hate (fucking pricks, how dare they ban someone for screaming forty slurs in every single post for six months straight!) while establishing themselves as power users. Because if it worked on reddit, it works on here.

Just block communities and, where possible, instances.

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[-] [email protected] 25 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

yea people get drowned out by these bots and they feel less inclined to contribute. I know I was less likely to leave a comment on Reddit when there were already many comments. I was less likely to post on Reddit when a subreddit was already getting many posts. I post and comment more here on Lemmy because it doesn't get drowned out. If we wanna grow then it needs to be natural, not via bots.

everyone do yourself a favor and go to your settings page and uncheck the option for "Show Bot Accounts", it's unfortunate that I can't keep the few good bots visible but there's just too much bot spam now.

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[-] [email protected] 95 points 5 months ago

Defederated. What a waste of resources.

[-] [email protected] 78 points 5 months ago

The worst part is when I spend time replying to a question, later to realize the OP will never see it.

[-] [email protected] 33 points 5 months ago

I fell for that a few times. Then I realized these were communities on instances that had like 40 million posts all from people from Alien who had a Lemmy history consisting of one post and no comments.

[-] [email protected] 23 points 5 months ago

Exactly this. I didn't notice the bot icon the first time I saw alien.top, and wasted time responding.

I've blocked the instance from my client.

[-] [email protected] 76 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

God I can't wait until instance blocking because this kind of drama is just soooo very tiring.

Edit: Clients that do that are great and all but I switch between desktop and phone too often for just a client-side solution on one of them.

[-] [email protected] 20 points 5 months ago

This exists in Sync for Lemmy. I couldn't live without it tbh.

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[-] [email protected] 75 points 5 months ago

I'm honestly so sick of bots on this website. Nobody even comments, it's just junk that then dilutes the actual communities posting in c/all. I'd love to have a way to block all memes, porn, and bot posts just so I could actually discover new communities here instead of AI redhead pussy, bots crossposting stale linux memes, and old reddit help threads with 0 comments because they are asking for help on a different site.

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[-] antik 58 points 5 months ago

Lemmy World defederated as soon as we became aware of this instance.

It is created by @[email protected] who said this was something requested by many but we really didn't see the advantage of it.

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[-] [email protected] 58 points 5 months ago

this shit is pointless. defederated

[-] jacktherippah 52 points 5 months ago

Thankfully lemmy.world defederated a long time ago.

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[-] [email protected] 51 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

Agreed, screw the person running that instance. If I wanted to see the front page of reddit I'd go to reddit. They aren't helping Lemmy grow, they're just a spammer.

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[-] [email protected] 50 points 5 months ago

The person who runs this whole thing was in here recently with a new "recommended alternatives to subreddits" tool. Conveniently failing to mention that the recommended communities they'd seeded it with were full of bots. So clearly given they weren't up front at all in that post they're aware it's not an appealing prospect to most people but are attempting to trick us into joining and talking into a bot-void anyway.

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[-] [email protected] 38 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

Well, it clearly seems that this experiment is failing, but not for any reason I was expecting...

  • Fediverser is first and foremost a set of tools to help people migrate away from Reddit. I was not expecting so many "if I want to see Reddit stuff, I just go to Reddit". I thought that the people that came to Lemmy during the protests were willing to put their words into actions and leave Reddit, or maybe do what I am doing and only using it to spread awareness of the alternatives. I thought that it was understood that the problem with Reddit was on management, not with Reddit users. I thought that people liked the content from their niche subs, and I thought that people were willing to help others to move to a newer alternative, free of Big Tech and centralized corporate control. It doesn't seem to be the case. For all the talk about community and all the people crying against spez, it seems that Slacktivism is still the dominant ideology of social networks.

  • Fediverser is very specific about what subreddits are being mirrored and into what communities the content is going to. To talk about "spam" honestly makes very little sense to me, until I realized that there are so many people browsing via "all". I can not understand how someone in their right mind would be looking at any content firehose without filtering, but it seems like that this is the reality for many.

  • People were feeling "tricked" into responding. That's on me. My work on two-way communication is going a bit slower than I was hoping for and I thought that marking accounts as bots was enough, but clearly the UX is failing to make this noticeable.

With all that said, I will retire the bots until I deliver on my promise to make two-way communication work and/or I have better tools at fediverser.network to help community promotion.

[-] [email protected] 54 points 5 months ago

I get that you saw a perceived problem and you're trying to fix it. I get that what you've built is cool on a technical level and it probably feels really terrible to have people be so negative about it. So first of all, none of this is personal at all. But I feel this comment illustrates exactly where the problem lies.

You want to "help people migrate away from Reddit". But I'm not sure what makes you think people need "help" at all, I mean if someone wants to stop using a platform they can just stop using the platform. I was a heavy Reddit user and was in plenty of tiny niche subreddits, but so what? I wanted to leave so I left.

So maybe the real problem is that so many people don't want to leave Reddit, and that disappoints you, and you want to try and convince them that they do? This I could definitely understand, but trying to convince someone you know what they want better than they do themselves is not generally a great tactic.

Most people will just stick with whatever the "best" platform is in terms of showing them content they want to see, and are slow to move to the next thing once the one they're on starts sucking. So if you really want to put your dev skills to use it would make more sense to get stuck in with Lemmy itself and help increase the pace of improvements. A lot of us are happy here, but a lot of people also bounced off due to the jank. And the more we can reduce that bounce rate, the more we can keep people around, the more we're in a position to capitalise whenever the next big wave of newbies hits.

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[-] [email protected] 48 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

Thank you.

It doesn't seem like you understood why people are upset though. Currently the only way to discover new communities and widen your network is by browsing All. Dare I say most Lemmy users do this. Making repost bots actively harms "real" post discoverability and makes browsing content difficult. Not to mention most reposted content is very superficial, and most of these text postd have zero value when there's no interaction.

I was not expecting so many "if I want to see Reddit stuff, I just go to Reddit".

No, we're saying if you want to see Reddit content you should host an alternate frontend like https://teddit.net/ or go to a dedicated place to view that content. Hosting it on Lemmy makes little sense because...

  1. You are stressing out every Lemmy instance by making so many posts and comments a minute

  2. There's no way to opt-in, so a lot of these posts are making its way to people's feeds without consent and people aren't interested in seeing it, which is why most people are upset

  3. It's actively making the new user experience worse because it feels like there's too much botspam and someone who's brand new won't understand what's going on.

If there was some way to opt in it would be very cool and a great project, but the way it works now does more harm than good

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[-] [email protected] 43 points 5 months ago

Just don't, repost bots add nothing of value to the platform in my experience. We don't want this place to be Reddit 2.0, we want it to be it's own thing.

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[-] rustyriffs 21 points 5 months ago

I can not understand how someone in their right mind would be looking at any content firehose without filtering, but it seems like that this is the reality for many.

I typically browse subscribed until I'm seeing posts I've already viewed. I occasionally switch to all to see if I will find any new content/ communities to subscribe to. How do you typically do it?

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[-] MargotRobbie 38 points 5 months ago

@[email protected], let me break it down to you as simply as I can:

  • Reddit comments are copyrighted material.

  • Reddit ToS means reddit can do whatever they want with these comments, you don't have the rights to these comments.

  • Scraping and mirroring reddit comments to start a competitor, therefore, is copyright violation, and is illegal.

  • You don't even have plausible deniability because you outright admitted, multiple times, that you are mirroring reddit comments to start a competitor.

  • Reddit's army of lawyers can find you through your domain registrar, and will make an example out of you.

  • Every instance that federates with yours can also get sued for hosting copyrighted material.

Please stop.

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[-] [email protected] 35 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

Not just spam, it is also using system resources as high as big instances. I just defederated from it.

I wish someone made this integration in an app, that shows both Lemmy and Reddit feed, without an instance.

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[-] CrayonRosary 34 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

Are the fake users registered as bots?

If not, then that's a really good case for defederation. Hell, sounds like a good plan either way.

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[-] [email protected] 32 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

Can you please add a note to your original comment please?

alien.top misreports its instance name and can confuse client blocks. In some cases you have to manually add "selfhosted.forum" for blocks to work correctly. I know this is an issue with Lemmy Connect specifically and I have left a note for the dev about this. If alien.top is misreporting its name like I suspect, it could cause issues for other clients.

I requested my home instance (lemmy.ca) defederate from alien.top, but my cries went unanswered.

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[-] farcaster 25 points 5 months ago

I hope instance admins can clean up their databases from this stuff, because I suspect these Reddit mirroring bots take up enormous amounts of database storage on popular instances once all those posts get pushed there.

[-] [email protected] 17 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

I'll paste what @[email protected] (looks to be an admin) commented after you posted;

"Not just spam, it is also using system resources as high as big instances. I just defederated from it.

I wish someone made this integration in an app, that shows both Lemmy and Reddit feed, without an instance."

So seems like you were right

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[-] [email protected] 23 points 5 months ago

This has been absolutely beyond infuriating I can't even block it properly from Connect. Agreed this is nothing but pollution spam

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[-] [email protected] 21 points 5 months ago

You can copy and cross post from reddit but it should be done by a person. If I see something cool on reddit I can post it here but I'm not going to post 100 things from reddit and dominate a community like a bot would.

[-] Yukito01 21 points 5 months ago

I was fine with the helpful bots here and there, but if someone is going to abuse it like this may as well just ignore them all. This is why we can't have good things.

I remember reading in some other post there was a global setting in the Voyager app to block all bots, but I cannot find it now. Does anyone know where?

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[-] [email protected] 20 points 5 months ago

I'm sure they mean well, but it's annoying

[-] [email protected] 20 points 5 months ago

Personally I just block the entire community if all posts are made up of Reddit mirrors. If that's all the posts that are there, that's probably all there ever will be. It just clutters up my feed otherwise. There are a handful of lower post volume communities that I have mild interest in that I've let slide but it seems to have worked well so far.

All the options are pretty much all or nothing at this point. You can block the community the bot is posting to or disable bot posts being visible in entirety in your settings.

[-] [email protected] 19 points 5 months ago

It’s an instance that crossposts posts from Reddit, except it also makes a new user for each Reddit account it came from.

Impressively stupid, if I'm honest. I wonder what the hell happened to make anyone on the planet think of that bit of genius.

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[-] [email protected] 18 points 5 months ago

The author of Fediverser says that eventually it will be a 2-way crossposter between reddit and Lemmy, but I don't see the use in that - so it makes lemmy into reddit? Or like the entire site into a 3rd party reddit app, which reddit doesn't want and would never tolerate? For now I was like okay, it sounded like the posts were from people who explicitly signed up, but then it seems that no, they automatically make accounts for posts on subs they're duplicating which is like, what?? The people on reddit don't even know that their posts are being duplicated to lemmy, so how does that help?

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[-] LunchEnjoyer 18 points 5 months ago

Agreed, this should be banned..

[-] [email protected] 16 points 5 months ago

Ultimately that will always be the case. This is just one example, but there's a million ways things can end up mirrored from various services. There will be torrent instances and porn instances and whatnot. With the way the fediverse works, you have to protect yourself from spam and bad content. The problem is the inability to filter it out, which thankfully Lemmy 0.19 now has: you can now block whole instances as a user.

But also generally, don't use All. It will always have random crap you don't want, especially as some instances use a bot to subscribe to everything. My test community has 74 subscribers, 72 of which are those bots. This means my random test crap ends up on All of lemmy.world and there ain't much I can do about that other than marking it NSFW so it doesn't show up to guests. The All listing sounds appealing at first and maybe it made some sense on Reddit, but on Lemmy it kinda doesn't work. Especially when non-english communities will take off, a good chunk of All may end up being in a language you can't even read.

Honestly a better fix for this would be custom feeds, or a way for admins to curate the contents of All without having to pull out the nuclear weapons and defederate.

I can see why some people would actually want a readonly Reddit mirror. Like, maybe there's a community you used to follow but never write to but don't want to have to use the Reddit app for. I understand why that'd be a minority of users, but clearly there's enough demand for it that it's a thing and there's even plans for implementing two-way bridging. Or if anything, tinkering with such a thing is a very fediverse thing to do. We shouldn't blame the instance for existing but the lack of tools to manage their existence.

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this post was submitted on 04 Dec 2023
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